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Richard Conte Original Art

Richard Conte, my step-father was an artist in many respects including being a stylish colored crayon sketcher. In these unique and one of a kind instances pictured below, Richard created his own original art within the first blank pages of books about art published in the 1960’s. Unlike a framed work, you have to open the books to see the Richard Conte art work. This week I placed these vintage items for sale on Etsy.com in the collectibles category. The books also contain many beautiful illustrations.

Original Art by Richard Conte within the book, The Fauves

Original Art by Richard Conte within the book, The Fauves

Original Art by Richard Conte within the book, I, Michelangelo, Sculptor

Original Art by Richard Conte within the book, I, Michelangelo, Sculptor

Original Art by Richard Conte within the book, The Genius Of Leonardo Da Vinci

Original Art by Richard Conte within the book, The Genius Of Leonardo Da Vinci

 

 

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My whole life there has been one person, my best friend, my mother who has been there through it all. This month she made her transition and my life was changed in a second. I’ve been living with her in Cathedral City, CA for the past seven months being her caregiver since her pulmonary doctor told her she may only have about six months to go.

I’ll be posting more about her and showing many more photos of her fantastic life as well as building an obituary site that people can sign into and tell their personal story of how she touched their lives. From being a child music prodigy who rode and raced a horse named Raimee to being Miss California to being a mother to being Mrs. Richard Conte traveling Europe making movies…she lived many lifetimes in one and will be missed to the depths of our hearts.

A few years ago I interviewed her in my recording studio for hours/days and once again heard the stories I grew up hearing. From her early life’s stories I have written/completed the screenplay “My Raimee” about her as a ten year old girl on a farm in Kansas meeting one of the great love’s of her life, a high spirited horse that few could ride, but that she went all the way to the race track with. This story is now part of my mother’s legacy as are the hundreds and hundreds of photos and the memories of those she touched along the way.

Shirlee Colleen Conte

Shirlee Colleen Conte, AKA Shirlee Garner-Witty-Krieger-Conte

Shirlee Colleen Garner on Raimee

Shirlee Colleen Garner on Raimee

Shirlee Witty (Garner) MISS CALIFORNIA 1956

Shirlee Witty (Garner) MISS CALIFORNIA 1956

Colleen Conte and husband Richard Conte

Colleen Conte and husband Richard Conte

Hey There, Georgi Girl

Something they never told me, growing up was how the older you get, the more loved ones you’ll lose to the great beyond. Seems most of my articles on this site are about people I’ve known, loved and then one day heard about their passing.

In March of 2014, my great friend and collaborator in the arts, Georgi Streetman (entertainer, singer, dancer, writer, painter, director/producer, inspirationist) took her final bow. Around 1989, I first met Georgi in San Diego, CA. She performed as a dynamic stage presence entertainer in a variety of situations. I had just moved to the North County San Diego area from L.A.. Somewhat by accident I started doing live sound engineering to make ends meet, having come from a decade of recording studio music production.

Georgi and I worked as a team in various venues from New Age Churches to an elite weekly breakfast club for authors called The Inside Edge. Georgi, being the music director (and performer) of the events and me being the sound engineer (occasional performer).

We must have co-worked well over four hundred events including a Georgi Streetman Concert that we recorded and later mixed into a CD album. Close to ten years ago, Georgi moved to South Dakota and I moved to Mount Shasta.

The extraordinary thing about it is we never had any kind of conflict all those years. Our shared love of the arts and dedication to doing an excellent job, as well as her purity of intent and honest communication made the two of us a perfect team. She could look at me from across a large room and I’d know what she was thinking – change the mix – look up and see her nodding “yes”.

So, once again I say goodbye to a cherished friend. And, more than ever before, now I feel just how much she means to me. Thank you, Georgi Girl. You’re the best of the best.

georgi collageedi

Georgi Streetman

Steve White Blues

When I began drafting this article, Steve White was alive and strummin’. On April 22, 2011, just before midnight, my beloved friend broke through to the other side. Steve was like Ray Charles…he always was and always would be there giving us the groove, so real and solid in his musical communication that no one could deny.

The one known as Steve White Blues finally placed a completion frame on his life’s work. Now begins the legacy.

Steve is/was one of my all time favorite studio collaborators from San Diego. We co-created around ten song rewrite/productions in my studio over the years, plus he recorded various other songs as a regular studio client and we loved every minute of it. When Steve started a take, he finished it…all the way without hesitation. In the studio, where people stop and start at will, to have a performer so true and dedicated that he went from start to finish on a track without even considering stopping and dissecting, it was rare and exciting. It was a fan experience.

I wish we could’ve done a lot more in the studio, but fortunately Steve got the opportunity to travel abroad and find his global audience. His unique style now lives on as an influence in the music of many spanning continents.

Our collaborative work has been released on two independent albums: Better Days – Steve White and WhiteStone Collection. I also created a super cool YouTube video for the song, Kung Fu Chopper Pilot.

Steve is/was a true Americana Singer-Songwriter, mixing blues, country, folk, R&B and pop into a contagious feel good groove. Check out his musical legacy at SteveWhiteBlues.com, CDbaby.com, etc. Here’s to you, good buddy. You truly mastered the art of Steve White Blues.

Steve White and Kristopher Stone

Steve White and Kristopher Stone

In 1979, I was in a really high energy musical called “That’s Rock n Roll” at College of the Desert. We also performed at Disneyland. In those days I was known as Kristopher Witty. Unique to most musicals, during this show our audience would participate cheering us on and getting rowdy. Ray Limon did a great job choreographing the show and inspiring us. Terry Nicholson wrote/directed the show based on well known songs, Dr. John Anello was the music director and Bruce Healey did the band arrangements. Truly a highlight of my musical theatre days in College.

Kristopher and Stephanie

Kristopher and Beth

Kristopher – Elvis Medley

Kristopher dipping Beth

Vicki Star, famous beader

Vicki Star is a world famous beader. She makes beautiful works, writes instructional books, appears at conventions and teaches classes all around. I know her from my time in San Diego where we were sweeties for nine years. Also, I was blessed with her family. Spending the holidays with them was great. As you can see here, they have a unique sense of humor.

Vicki Star’s Family, spoons stuck to noses

Speaking of famous people, Vicki’s grandson Malcolm Stumpf is a movie star – playing Madonna’s young son in The Next Best Thing, the star teenager in Wild Tigers I Have Known, etc. I haven’t seen Malcolm for around ten years, however we’ve recently become ‘friends’ on FaceBook along with Vicki’s daughter, Chrystal Star, who’s also in show biz doing script supervision and P.A. work.

Here’s some of Vicki’s work and a link to her main site…

Vicki Star's Tiny Treasure Boxes

Vicki Star’s Tiny Treasure Boxes

http://vickistar.com/index.html

Vicki Star, Unknown Dudes, Kristopher Stone

Vicki Star, Unknown Dudes, Kristopher Stone

Tony Curtis

I met Tony Curtis at the Playboy mansion one day back in the 1980’s. I loved his characters in movies as I was growing up, so it was a thrill to meet him. He was also a friend of my mother, Colleen. For those who don’t know, Tony was a great painter artist and created a huge number of paintings. Also, he and his wife Jill Vandenberg did wonderful work on their ranch, the Shiloh Horse Rescue and Sanctuary, founded by Jill and her family. Tony’s artistic legacy lives on and the Shiloh Ranch continues to save lives. Thank you, good people.

Tony Curtis and Colleen Conte

tony-curtis-painting[1]

Tony

tonycurtis_41762_2[1]

Tony Curtis art

Tony Curtis and wife Jill Vandenberg

Tony Curtis and wife Jill Vandenberg

Tony Curtis and Colleen Conte

Tony Curtis and Colleen Conte